Thursday, September 18, 2014
Text Size

Saugeen First Nation casino resort just a 'concept'

By Scott Dunn, Sun Times, Owen Sound

SAUGEEN FIRST NATION - Saugeen First Nation Chief Randall Kahgee said plans for a lakeside casino resort proposed on land between Southampton and Sauble Beach are “a concept” and “by no means are any plans finalized.”

The proposal is “in the very initial planning stages,” Kahgee said. “That's a concept that went through kind of a process within the community through our economic development committee over the last couple of years. By no means are any plans finalized.”

The entire concept document is posted at, though it will be taken down temporarily because it has caused confusion, Kahgee said.

It will take another two years or more of community consultation before a decision on whether to proceed is made. But the concept presents an “exciting opportunity,” Kahgee said.

The plan says the project could include a casino hotel, a hotel/conference centre, cabins by the Chippewa Golf Club and cottages along Lake Huron, a spa, pool, village shops and places to eat and drink.

“I appreciate that it's a challenge when you've got to balance that with numerous other priorities but hopefully in two or a couple of years or however long it takes, hopeful this is something the community is going to invest in,” Kahgee said.

He said numerous feasibility studies over the years have all said either a hotel or resort-type facility would do very well in the area as a tourist attraction, even if parts of the plan were scaled back. A study three or four years ago spawned the current concept document, which was prepared by Arizona-based Winding Road Development, more than one year ago, he said.

But lots of work remains to be done, including securing funding, which is a “big piece,” Kahgee said.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation spokesman Tony Bitonti said Saugeen First Nation isn't within one of Ontario's the 29 designated gaming zones. Consequently, Saugeen First Nation would have to approach the province for special permission for any new casino and present the OLG with a business case, he said.

Council requests the plans be taken down, Kahgee said. He said inclusion of a casino in the project has become a “distraction,” which requires better communications plans to explain. Website additions should address that, he said.

“It has become almost a distraction – the concept, oh it's a casino – but we lose sight of the fact that there's other pieces or parts to this, right? I think that's been part of the confusion as well,” he said.

“By no means does it mean we're putting the brakes on anything.”

Kahgee said the project would have to conform to the First Nations Land Management Act, the legislation which allows First Nations bands to be freer to develop their lands once they've created their own land codes governing development. The exact location may be determined by environmental priorities, he added.

“The Village Saugeen will be the most significant economic development driver for the Saugeen First Nation community,” the 68-page, heavily illustrated online document says. “It will create substantially new revenue sources through the creation of new lease revenue, business ownership opportunities along with real estate sales and lodging activities.”

The project would have condominiums and townhouses for full- and part-time residents, the plans say, though they're unclear where.

Development of Village Saugeen should be co-ordinated with local schools and Georgian College in Owen Sound to offer new training and vocational programs, the document suggests. The project would offer community members jobs and would be an “everlasting legacy” for the Saugeen people.

Kahgee didn't have the projected number of jobs or the estimated cost of the project at hand Monday.

The plans as proposed call for a three-storey casino hotel with 80 rooms, a spa and 12,000 square-foot conference/meeting space. A 3,000 square-foot casino and 2,000 sq.-ft. bingo parlour would be housed in a two-floor building also containing administration, retail, office space and a restaurant. For comparison, the bingo hall in downtown Owen Sound is 6,000 sq. ft.

A 2,500 sq.-ft. golf clubhouse, 4,000 sq.-ft. cultural centre with four shops, a retail boardwalk with 10 stores, a pool and a lakeside hotel with 60 rooms (though maps show three buildings) are part of the proposal. The plan includes 40 cabins by the golf course and 12 lake cottages, nature trails and a marina.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins